Mike Mann: Estibot “dramatically deflates the value of a domain”

EstibotI think Mike Mann is one of the most successful domain investors, and he has certainly sold more domain names than just about anyone. For those who don’t know about Mike’s background, you should check out Paul Sloan’s Cnet article for more information about him and his domain industry background.

On Facebook this morning, Mike publicly shared an interesting comment about Estibot, the automated domain name appraisal tool:

“The main tool domain “experts” use in appraising premium .Com domains is called Estibot, which usually dramatically deflates the value of a domain. I sell domains constantly for 10, 20 or even $50,000 that they value in the hundreds, and everything I sell I think is too cheap, often discounted. Other famous domain companies have internal tools to appraise domains that are completely useless also, like Estibot.”

I think Mike owns more of the  “brandable” variety of domain names. Some of these domain names are popular phrases or terms that are highly coveted by prospective buyers. You can see an idea of those domain names on DomainMarket.com. From this perspective, Mike is probably right about Estibot. It is difficult to appraise brandable domain names. A domain name can seem to be worth just a few hundred dollars, but a company that really wants (or needs) the name may pay tens of thousands of dollars to secure the domain name.

From my own perspective, I tend to think Estibot has inflated  domain name values. In fact, I regularly receive domain name submissions from owners whose prices are significantly higher than what I would spend, and many cite Estibot values as the support for their pricing.

It is interesting to hear people discuss Estibot. Some people, especially buyers, think the valuations are on the high side. Some people also think Estibot values are on the low side. For me, the accuracy of Estibot values mostly depends on whether I am buying or selling!

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. >>>> I think Mike Mann is one of the most successful domain investors, and he has certainly sold more domain names than just about anyone.<<<


    And he was a major investor in the largest reported domain sale Sex.com.

  2. Agree with Mike Mann, Estibot results are misleading and not reliable at all, and often Exact Monthly Searches data or other data are widely incorrect.
    Just a random example: for BailBonds.com it says EMS are approx 22,000, while actually they are over 113,000 if we include Google, search partners, Yahoo and Bing, 90,500 if we consider only Google & partners, over 74,000 if we include Google only.
    For generic, category defining names (not for brandables I mean) we use our own Valuation Model, a more sophisticated version of the Standard Domain Equation, based on EMS, CPC, CTR, etc.
    Someone improperly call it Rosener Equation, but actually it wasn’t invented by Andrew Rosener, it was conceived and used well before he even started to work in the domain industry.
    ESTIBOT valuation are totally MISLEADING and often incorrect, it’s a big mistake that some companies use or show them when people has to take an investment decision, purchasing or selling a domain.
    I’d suggest those companies, including NameJet, to remove those Estibot pseudo-valuations, that way you will provide a better service to clients and avoid to mislead them when they are buying or selling domains.

  3. Estibot is a useful tool and supplement for a well-researched buying and selling strategy. I’d rather the Estibot tool exist than not exist. At the same time, you shouldn’t depend on any one source, but various sources and allow your research and particular circumstances to guide your buying and selling strategy.

  4. As regards brandable domains, IMHO Elliot is right when he says “It is difficult to appraise brandable domain names. A domain name can seem to be worth just a few hundred dollars, but a company that really wants (or needs) the name may pay tens of thousands of dollars to secure the domain name.”
    That’s when personal intuition or instinct plays his role 🙂


    This program was created by a domainer around 10+ years ago and was simply put together imo as a novelty

    over time it turned into a tool by the new and veteran dumbainers who think such tools are actually legitimate

    its like anything online, after awhile people think material is true to life and viable but the real truth is sites like estinot r simply bogus estimate software created by some guy in his kitchen!

    • I’m not “trying” to do anything. I’m stating facts. I know most internet trolls hate when facts are mentioned. Pretty sure visiting their site isn’t a requirement in any aspect. So, if you don’t like their service, don’t use it.

  6. Valuation is not something that an algorithm can define. I tend to stay away from websites using them for big ticket items. Estibot had Whisky.com valued at $27,000 and after it sold for $3.1 million, they updated their valuation to $3.2 million. That’s fine as long as they adjust other similar names.

  7. This topic recycles every so often and the conclusion is the same. What is problematic is that several registrars offer estibot as a tool. Doing so suggests it is credible, a reliable & accurate mechanism for valuating domains. It is not. Mike Mann’s comment is really more than just an opinion. And Michael Castello’s example above is very representative of the fallacy of automated appraisals.

  8. Nothing like reevaluating a domain AFTER it sold!

    Estibot = estimate? Highly suspect even then

    Es: did u create it was supposed to be a joke, mellow out man u r so tense!

    • lolol, talk about suking up to the big $ dude on here , u couldn’t even give your own comment either, pathetic really….

  9. It’s scary to me how people can’t grasp the fact Estibot is useless for estimating domain values that aren’t trading on a daily basis.

    Estibot does well when it comes to CHIPS for instance because there is enoug volume on a daily / weekly basis that it can actually make an educated estimate.

    So yeah, Estibots a cool tool, but don’t call up your local domain broker and hold firm with your unreasonable offer because Estibot says that’s what the name is worth. It won’t get you far.

  10. Estibot can be way off with both overvalue & undervalue IMO. I just decided to drop a .net as I had purchased the .com version from someone else a couple years back. Apparently doing that caused estibot to drop the value from $32,000 to $8,600. Huh? Another name that I have has an estibot value of $47,000 – I’ve had 6 figure offers on it as well as a higher value lease which I had to cancel last year.

  11. Estibot is owned by a nice guy and has other useful tools, but they get a lot wrong, unless you’re selling to domainers, instead of end users. Example, they rank my Unforgivable.com at $279,000 (too high) and my EngagementRingDiamonds.com $690 (too low), both severely off. DomainIndex has it at $135,000 which I view as also too low.

    One has to look at domains in context of the business sector it represents, and the dynamics within that sector. For example, in the case of the latter, it gets 113K+ exact searches a month, across the 3 major search engines, and $3.24 CPC, but if you’re in the industry, you know that engagement ring diamonds represent 40% of your diamond sales, and the average sale is just under $6K by recent reports. So the domain could provide significant advantage to the retailer who wants a bigger share of the market.

  12. Follow the money. Who’s making money off this “Estibot” and why?

    Read what Michael Castello and M. Menius wrote above.

    “Domain appraisal” is one of the biggest things that drove me from the forums originally. In the forums it is full of cutthroat predatory lying and malice, and in the automated arena it is pure ridiculousness. Those who would purport to appraise are likely to also not have the slightest clue what the real value is compared to those who really know the specific niche of a domain.

    “Appraisal” for domain names should be done away with.

    • P.S. And I write that as one who is primarily an end user/publisher, not one who is primarily a “domain investor” or “domainer.”

    • And P.P.S., Elliot, have you seen Estibot’s so-called “appraisal” for two of your best domains?

      Absolute ridiculousness.


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